Triple medal haul for Swift in Melbourne

Britain's Ben Swift races in the the men's points race at the Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, April 7, 2012. Swift won the silver medal.(AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill)
Britain's Ben Swift races in the the men's points race at the Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, April 7, 2012. Swift won the silver medal.(AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill)
0
Have your say

Rotherham cyclist Ben Swift underlined his growing potential by completing a hat-trick of medal-winning performances at the Track World Championships.

The 24-year-old, who won gold in the 15km scratch race earlier in the week, added silver medals in the points race and then the madison alongside Geraint Thomas yesterday.

Both performances in Melbourne gave further evidence of his tactical ability as a bunch rider.

Swift first claimed silver behind Cameron Meyer of Australia in the men’s non-Olympic points race on Saturday. Swift scored 32 points to Meyer’s 33.

Then yesterday he and Thomas won silver in the madison behind Belgium.

Sir Chris Hoy sent out an ominous warning to his rivals ahead of the London Olympics with an astonishing keirin victory on the final day.

There was an audible gasp from onlookers at the Hisense Arena as Hoy won his fourth world keirin gold with a manoeuvre which astounded and demonstrated nothing can be ruled out as far as the four-times Olympic champion is concerned.

Hoy, the 2007, 2008 and 2010 world champion and Olympic champion in Beijing in the event which begins behind a motorised Derny bike, appeared to be boxed in on the final bend, but accelerated as a gap opened up between Germany’s Maximilian Levy and Simon van Velthooven of New Zealand before lunging for the line.

An 11th World Championships gold medal of his distinguished career was confirmed only after a photo finish. Jason Kenny claimed bronze.

Hoy, who is in a selection battle with Kenny for the one sprint place in London, said: “How did I do that? With half a lap to go it was looking pretty bleak.

“I knew that they were fanning out and the three of them (Levy, Van Velthooven and Kenny) were going to go three abreast on the last corner and there was a chance of a little flick here.

“And as soon as the flick came from the Kiwi (Van Velthooven) I went up the inside and the door opened.

“I was thinking ‘I’ve got a chance of getting silver here’ – I just kept driving.

“Levy seemed to tie up in the last few metres and I threw the bike and couldn’t believe I’d won it.”

It was Britain’s sixth gold – five coming from the 10 events on August’s Olympic track programme.

The irrepressible Laura Trott was triumphant. The 19-year-old from Hertfordshire – a team pursuit world champion and world record setter on day two – claimed her first individual crown on Saturday in the omnium.

“I think I’m setting myself up well for London,” said Trott. “The world record and World Championship in the team pursuit would’ve been enough for me. To come here and win the omnium I’m just over the moon.”